Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Travels to Richmond

Went to visit our daughter in Richmond last week and help her move into her new house where she is living with a couple of new people. A young man owns the house and lives there, along with another young woman. It's a very nice house, though I liked the neighborhood with the park across the street where she moved from. But at least she won't have a jungle and fish ponds to maintain anymore.

We left for our journey right after traffic court in Ottawa. It was the appeal for the traffic ticket Jon got for not moving over for a stopped cop at the side of the road when he did move over. But cops can accuse you and ticket you for whatever they want and it's your word against their's. He lost the appeal, which we expected and that was $250 donation to their corrupt county funds! We shrugged it off though, and didn't let it ruin our trip.

We got to Toledo in time for dinner and checked into the Days Inn there. It was pretty decent. Clean. No pool and hot tub like they advertised, though! We were looking forward to that since we arrived early in the evening. We got up the next morning and drove the rest of the way, and we can always count on it to rain in the mountains of Pennsylvania. It never fails. Fog, pouring rain, wind, stupid drivers who can't drive on wet roads. Wish people if they can't drive in bad weather they would car pool with someone else or stay home!

Got to Mary's in time for dinner there. She had a concert later in the evening, but we had plenty of time to for pizza at a good pizza place in Carytown. It's difficult to find good pizza out east, except for New York city. I love New York style pizza...nice and greasy and thin, thin crust and the pie is divided into triangle slices.

Mary had to go to her concert, her boyfriend Dave was at her house and they were going to go out to a party afterwards so Jon and I checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Courtyard of Marriott for two days and it was very nice. Nice comfy beds with lots of puffy pillows, cable television, workout room, swimming pool, hot tub, and restaurant and snack store. We went to Arby's for a quick dinner and then back to the hotel to chill. I read some of my book, Jon watched cable television and we were quite relaxed. Mary and Dave went to their party at a bar in downtown Richmond and they were witness to a shooting! It happened right there outside of their bar, and they were on the patio of this bar outside. The gunman fired five shots, don't know how many times he hit the guy he was after, but it brought him down and the gunman fled. I'm so glad that Mary and Dave and no one else was hurt. The guy who was shot survived and police did capture the gunman, thank goodness! Mary had invited Jon and I to go along with them and so I was glad we had declined and opted to go to our hotel to rest.

The next day we went over to Mary's house and did some internet and then we went over to the Galaxy Cafe for brunch. I ate my first batter-fried pickle spear and it was so delicious! We also ordered a fried Twinkie with ice cream and four fried Oreo cookies with ice cream and shared it. But we all said once we tasted it we wished we each had one of our own! It was so good. Melted right in your mouth!

Mary's concert at the Carpenter Center was at three so we changed and went there. The performance was Carmina Burana complete with orchestra, adult and children's choruses. It was spectacular. The theater is beautiful. There is a deep blue night sky painted on the ceiling and walls and the sides have arches to see though, as you can see from the photo here to the left. It's my favorite color of blue. The concert was magnificent. My ears after felt as if we had just heard a heavy metal rock concert. Spectacular, just awesome.

That evening we went to Kroger and got fried chicken, salad, rolls, potato skins and brownies and took it back to Mary's to eat. It was a good meal and a fraction of the cost of going to a restaurant. And probably a fraction of the salt. I still have to watch my salt intake and after eating at Galaxy earlier, to eat out again that same day would have made me sick.

We went back to our hotel around nine, and took showers, watched some t.v and fell asleep.The next morning we were up early since we had to check out. We had to switch hotels because Courtyard was doubling their rate on weekdays, which is ridiculous. Isn't a rented room at the half price better than an empty room for no money? Oh well...their loss. We went over to the Best Western and checked in and it was very nice, even nicer than the Marriott. Wish we would have stayed there the entire time. Free hot breakfast, plush comforter and lots of pillows.

That day was moving day for Mary. She borrowed a friend's van and Jon and Dave got most of the bigger stuff over to the new place real quick. We were done moving stuff by noon, but the clean up took awhile. And we took another Galaxy break and got the fried Twinkies and Oreos again. Yum. I got a grilled cheese instead of a big burger the second visit since that would be just too much to eat two days in a row. But had to have those fried pickles, and fried goodies once more. We went back to Mary's house again to clean and wait for the landlord. Then Mary and Dave decided to go back to her new place and Jon and I went back to our hotel and then we get a call from Mary asking if Jon has the key to her friend's van! No...David had it last. Dave said he put it in his pocket and it must have fallen out. They retraced their steps and didn't find it. But luckily, the friend had an extra key after all, after all that time spent looking.

The last day we were there we simply hung out at Mary's new house. She had taken Dave to the airport for him to go back home early in the morning, so we all slept late. Jon and I had breakfast at the hotel. And then when we went to Mary's Jon worked on fixing her bike most of the day. He always finds something to work on everywhere we go. Mr. Fixit.

We went to Carytown Burgers for dinner and while they were ordering I went into CVS to get an itch stick for all the damn mosquito bites I got on moving day in that jungle of a yard over at that place. I looked like I had chicken pox I had so many! Jon ordered burgers for all of us and cheese fries, saying he thought I would like them, when in fact it was he who wanted them, not me. He can never say he wants bad food for himself. He has to say that I want it, makes him feel less like a piggie or something!

After taking Mary home, we sat and talked awhile and then we hit the road. We had hotel reservations in Hagerstown, Maryland and didn't want to be getting there too late. Saying goodbye is always hard and I managed not to cry this time, but still my heart felt heavy having to leave my daughter again.

Driving through D.C. at that time wasn't too bad. Driving through D.C. at rush hour is hell, and why we wanted to get on the other side of D.C. to avoid the morning rush. We got stuck in construction traffic about 20 miles outside of Hagerstown. So, Jon tells me to call the motel, an Econolodge, and tell them that we are on our way but stuck in traffic. It was about 9:30 p.m. An Indian guy answered and I usually don't have a hard time understanding people, but I did with him. I was getting frustrated because he kept saying the word "cancel" and I kept saying "no cancel!" and so handed the phone to Jon who managed to communicate with him that we were indeed coming and to keep our room for us. When we got there the we found ourselves feeling like we walked into a hotel in India. The furnishings, draperies, wall hangings, pictures were all Indian. It was very interesting, but also quite odd for an Econolodge to be decorated this way. The whole place smelled of curry, which many people would like. It wasn't repulsive, but Jon isn't keen on curry and it bothered him. We went up to our room in elevators that seemed like they hadn't been updated since the 60s. It shook and rumbled up to the fourth floor. When we opened the door to our room, we could see the cold wind and drizzle blowing in the opened window, no screen. The room was clean, but the carpet was now wet in that area. We closed the window, and drapes, and took showers and went to sleep on the too-short beds. It was a place to sleep and was clean, and quiet so that was good.

We drove all the next day, stopping at Tim Horton's in Toledo for dinner of soup and chili (Jon had the chili) and then made good time on the rest of the way home. It was good to sleep in my own comfortable bed. There is no place like home.

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